Revolutionary Egyptian poet dies at 84

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Ahmed Fouad Negm is pictured in Beirut following the 2006 Israeli assault on Lebanon. (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, renowned for his revolutionary poetry and for his harsh criticism of political leaders, died on Tuesday at the age of 84, a publisher said.

"Ahmed Fouad Negm passed away. He was 84," Mohammed Hashem told AFP.

Negm spent a total of 18 years in jail for his strident criticism of former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.

He became recognized as a voice of protest in 1967 when he wrote poems on the Arab-Israeli war, which were highly acclaimed.

During the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolt, protesters often recited his revolutionary poems at Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square – epicenter of the 18-day uprising against the former dictator.

Negm was also well known for his decades-long association with Egyptian composer Sheikh Imam, and was widely regarded as a folk hero.

Son of a police officer and a housewife, Negm was born in 1929 in the Egyptian city of Sharqia and was one among 17 brothers.

(AFP)

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